Online Sports Betting Begins in Kentucky — Bright and Early

Kentucky is now the 25th state to launch online sports betting, joining neighbors such as Tennessee and Virginia.

Sep 28, 2023 • 08:25 ET • 2 min read
Ray Davis Kentucky SEC college football
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Online sports betting sites started legally taking action in Kentucky on Thursday before the break of dawn.

Indeed, the mobile component of Kentucky sports betting started this morning at 6 a.m. EDT, the earliest possible moment licensed operators could accept wagers. 

Covers broke down everything you need to know about the Kentucky launch earlier this week. That said, seven online sportsbooks are now either taking bets or will soon be taking bets in the Bluegrass State from those 18 and older (or 21 and older, depending on the operator). 

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Circa Sports is also licensed to offer online sports betting in Kentucky, but the operator plans to launch in the state later this year.

Join the club

Kentucky, though, is now the 25th state to launch online sports betting, according to the American Gaming Association, joining neighbors such as Tennessee and Virginia.

The first mobile wagers reported by bookmakers in the Bluegrass State were for Thursday night's NFL game. Caesars, for example, said its opening online action was a $25 bet on the Detroit Lions -1.5 against the Green Bay Packers.

Legal sports betting officially began in Kentucky earlier this month at brick-and-mortar racing and gaming properties, such as Churchill Downs, but the state opted to stagger the mobile debut by a few weeks.

"Sports wagering has already been a big hit in the commonwealth, with more than $4.5 million already bet, and that means that those dollars stay here in Kentucky," Gov. Andy Beshear said in a video on social media. "Everybody enjoy, do it responsibly, but know that this is a win-win for Team Kentucky, as these dollars will help our people."

The staggered approach in Kentucky is one that other states have used. Still, online sportsbooks must partner with the tracks and simulcasting facilities to gain access to Kentucky. DraftKings, for instance, is paired with the Mint Gaming Hall Cumberland.

“Kentucky marks the 24th Jurisdiction overall where DraftKings is live, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to deliver sports fans across Kentucky with our safe and legal mobile DraftKings Sportsbook app,” Matt Kalish, president of DraftKings North America, said in a press release on Wednesday. “It’s an exciting time of year with the NFL and college football seasons currently underway, and we look forward to being the ultimate host, providing customers with a seamless and enjoyable sports betting experience."

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